St. Patrick’s Day is upon us again, and people always seem to think I’ll be excited about that.
I am not.
I am the actor better known as Sir Charms, the Lucky Charms mascot. No, I won’t do the catch phrase for you. Look, I wish I never would have taken the role of Sir Charms, and this should go without saying, but Sir Charms is not my real name. My real name is Chad, and that’s what I prefer to be called.
You have to understand that in 1963 when this character was created, it was considered empowering that an actual leprechaun (me) was going to play the role. We had seen generations of non-leprechauns playing us, and most of the portrayals were cringey at best. Take Disney’s 1959 stinker Darby O’Gill and the Little People, for example. In this ridiculous imagining, there is a tribe of leprechauns led by a king named Brian. I’ve never met a leprechaun named Brian! And leprechauns don’t even have kings! We don’t believe in monarchy. Our government is a representative democracy.
Worse yet is the Leprechaun horror movie franchise. I have nothing against Warwick Davis, but they really couldn’t have found an actual leprechaun to play that role? Representation matters! This is offensive to both little people and leprechauns! Plus, we are not blood-thirsty gold-grubbing trolls. And no, it’s not offensive to say that. Trolls are dicks.
So, in the beginning, it was exciting that one of our own was cast to play one of our own. But it has turned out to be a double-edged sword because I have yet to be cast as anything but a leprechaun since taking the role of Sir Charms. Yes, I am an actual leprechaun, but I wish people would see me as more than that. I am a classically trained actor, and for what?
Not long before I was offered the part of Sir Charms, I was up for the role of James Bond in the very first 007 movie. It came down to me and Connery, and the casting director claimed that they just couldn’t see a way around my pointy shoes, bushy red eyebrows, and shamrock top hat. But I know the truth. They just couldn’t see me as anything but a leprechaun.
I haven’t been able to find work for some time now. I do get residuals from the Lucky Charms commercials, but even with that I’ve had to dip into my pot of gold, and it’s a long-ass walk to the end of my rainbow. I also have an annual gig on St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, where I dance on top of a bar, play a fiddle, and “grant people wishes.” It’s humiliating, and I resent it for reinforcing the stereotype that all leprechauns are drunken buffoons. I am not a drunken buffoon! But you know who is? Every asshole who comes to that bar in Boston. Ever notice how every year, every white bro you know suddenly has Irish ancestry? But just because I shit green turds and my head is too big for my body, I’m the one sacrificing my integrity for a few bucks.
There just aren’t many other roles available to me, a leprechaun. I’ve auditioned for several serious roles recently, and each time the casting director refused to take me seriously. They asked me to do my catch phrase, and when I refused, they told me I wasn’t right for the part. Supposedly this was because of my “incessant whistling” and “constant cobbling.” But I’ll tell you the real reason. Prejudice.
I’ve tried everything in auditions, and I’ve auditioned for everything. I’ve delivered Shakespearean monologues with the passion and precision of the original thespians. I’ve put my very soul into my performances. I’ve even tried auditioning for porn. And once again, I could see through the director’s coded language when he said my shamrock-shaped penis was just too distracting.
I hope I live to see the day that people will see me as more than Sir Charms and society sees that a leading man can just as easily be a two-foot tall man with tights under his knickers as a regular-sized man wearing pants.